How to Machine Polish Aircraft Paint

How to Machine Polish Aircraft Paint

Machine Buffing the Exterior Paint refers to the application and machine polishing of a heavy compounding wax off of the aircraft’s paint. Machine polishing is needed for deeply oxidized and faded paint and will restore its life and Appearance. 

Materials Needed: 

– A Makita 9720 Polishing Machine

– Makita Hook and Loop Velcro back compounding pad

– Supreme Glaze

– Spray Bottle of Water

– A few clean terry towels

– A cleaning spur for buffing pad

Procedure:

Step 1: Setup:

a.) Static Ports: Cover all static ports with small piece of 3M Tape so no products will enter. (Ask your crew chief to help you locate them if you can’t find them)

b.) Other Spots to Tape: If working on aircraft with bright work or de-ice boots you may want to tape of the area of paint that you are about to polish so that no wax gets on the paint during this process.

Step 2: Apply Polish:

a.) Select Panel: Locate a approximately 4×4 ft. area on the paint to work on.

*It’s best to start at the nose of aircraft and work your way backwards down the fuselage. Polish the wings after you finish the fuselage as you may need to stand on the inner- wing to polish areas on top of the aircraft.

b.) Moisten Terry Towel: Using the Water Spray Bottle, spray a small amount of water to moisten the terry towel. (The moisture helps spread the wax more evenly over the surface of the paint.)

c.) Apply Polish: Apply a quarter-sized amount of Supreme Glaze to moist terry towel and apply thinly and evenly your selected section of paint.

Step 3: Machine Polish Paint:

a.) Machine Polish Paint: While Supreme Glaze is still fresh on the surface, turn on your Makita 9720 Polisher and slowly buff up and down the freshly waxed area in a routine fashion.

* BE CAREFUL NOT TO LEAN INTO PAINT TOO MUCH WHEN USING MACHINE BUFFER. THIS CAN RESULT IN BURNING THE PAINT.

b.) Clean Pad: Every 2-3 minutes use the cleaning spur to remove the wax buildup from the pad. Do this by running the spur through the polisher’s pad  while running the buffer.

c.) Check Work: Once section of the paint has been machine polished and wax has been removed check over the panel for streaks or leftover polish. If necessary, Use a clean micro fiber cloth and go over section you just polished looking for streaks and wax left on paint.

Step 4: Repeat Steps 2 &3

Step 5: Wrap Up:

a.) Remove Tape: Remove ALL Tape from Static Ports and Edges of Paint that you were working on.

b.) Check work AGAIN: Check over work for streaks, missed areas, etc.

  1. Clean Up: Put dirty rags in correct bins, throw away trash & gloves etc.